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Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Oh, I know it's there at every hearing - it's actually written into the directives for disciplinary committees (see World Rugby's Regulation 17.19.5 - Mitigating Factors). I just find it incredibly ridiculous that a group of otherwise intelligent adults thought that saying please and being polite was grounds for reducing a ban - where I'm from it's the bare minimum to avoid a smack from one or more older family members!

I can just see the thought process: "well, he came in and sat down in that chair without punching anyone, he didn't drop a single F-bomb the entire hearing, and I even think I heard him call me 'sir' once...what a good lad, let's reduce his ban to one week."

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

Now to Fekitoa...
At no point in the attempted tackle is he crouched in a typical tackling position - he runs across high, starts high, and finishes with his feet off the ground and his arm around Zebo's face. Furthermore, his "tackle" looks more like he's going in for a combination of an uppercut and a hook - a swinging arm tackle, at best.

Fekitoa has violated not one, but two parts of the Foul Play law:
10.4 (a): Punching or striking. A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee(s).

and

10.4 (e): A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponent’s neck or head is dangerous play.

In every league I've played or refereed in, that would earn him a straight red card.

Now to the suspension - I wholeheartedly disagree that "good conduct at the hearing" should be a mitigating factor...just spoke to a trial lawyer that I know - he thinks it's crazy. There's no precedent for that in the court of law - why should it be a mitigating factor in a sanction hearing?

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Sam Cane cleared while Malakai Fekitoa receives one week ban

So now World Rugby's citing group have returned a judgement that is demonstrably wrong: in their statement they say that Cane's high tackle was not foul play because it was accidental. However, if you read Law 10.4 (e), it states explicitly that "a player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders. A tackle around the opponent’s neck or head is dangerous play." There is no gray area, no mention of intent or accident. A player who tackles an opponent above the shoulders is guilty of dangerous play...under the section of laws titled "Foul Play". By definition - in World Rugby's own law book - any tackle above the shoulders is foul play.

Their statement directly contradicts their law book. That being said, I agree that a yellow is enough in this case - as long as the player doesn't have a history of foul play (I don't think Cane does).

1 Month, 3 Weeks ago

Perfectly executed back heel kick 100m try goes viral

You are correct. The face is not a knock-on, neither is the upper leg, the chest, the back, the forehead, etc.

2 Months, 3 Days ago

Perfectly executed back heel kick 100m try goes viral

Actually, if a player loses the ball backwards or straight down, then it hits his knee and goes forward then it is not a knock-on.

2 Months, 3 Days ago

Perfectly executed back heel kick 100m try goes viral

Actually, when you kick a ball you're still technically in possession while the ball is in the air (ever wonder why if you form a maul immediately after catching the ball on the full, you get the ball back when the maul fails?). So a kick is not a loss of possession, merely a loss of control.

Of course, this is a situation where it's not a kick...so the loss of possession is actually when he releases the ball behind him.

The law about kicks doesn't prevent a player from propelling the ball forward by other means (e.g.: off the body, the upper leg, the face); it just defines what may be considered a kick for the purposes of scoring points or restarting the game.

2 Months, 3 Days ago

Wallabies disallowed try viewed as a major turning point in loss

Except under the laws, continuing to run your support line is not obstruction. Haylett-Petty is not required to move out of the way of Savea.

The law on obstruction that deals with blocking the tackler [10.1 (c)] states that "A player must not intentionally move or stand in a position that prevents an opponent from tackling a ball carrier."

The argument is that Haylett-Petty deliberately got in Savea's way, but if you look at the video, he starts running a support line towards the outside. As he continues on his line, he happens to bump Savea (granted, he does shove a little...). Both players are entitled to continue running their lines (you wouldn't expect Savea to move to allow a support player to get into a better position).

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Wallabies disallowed try viewed as a major turning point in loss

Obstruction requires the obstructer to change his line to deliberately get in the way. Because Hale-Petty was already running a line that would take him to the outside, he is entitled to continue to run that line. He does not have to get out of Savea's way.

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Keith Earls furious after red card for tip-tackle in Munster win

Actually, I think if he hadn't dipped his head he would have landed on it. It really looked like the hooker realized he was going over, and tucked to try to avoid landing on his head - just like you're taught to do when somersaulting.

Poor technique and bad reaction from Earls, Glasgow hooker did what he had to do to protect himself.

2 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Brilliant flick infield by Adam Knight saves Otago try

The Rugby League emphasis on kicking (because of the limited number of tackles available per possession) means that there are often kicks at the end of a set of six. Couple that with the ridiculous raw athleticism required to make it in the NRL, and you get regular awesome highlights. On the flip side, I personally find it a bit one-dimensionally as far as the tactics are concerned - a typical set of six is: bash, bash, bash, pass, pass/kick, kick (if still in possession).

Also, as a union player if you want to really develop good running lines, have a go at league (especially in Aus) - you'll either come away with excellent off-the-ball running lines, or broken into a million pieces (if you don't learn).

As DanKnapp mentions though, the NRL highlight reel is fantastic regardless of which code you prefer.

3 Months, 1 Day ago